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A couple of garlic braids

Garlic competition is over. It was an exciting day at Hvidløg & Vin (Garlic & Wine).

We were not that many, perhaps because of the weather this season. A table was put up in the barn, so we sat next to this years big garlic harvest drying in an air ventilated big box. Interesting to see how the professionals do the various phases of garlic cultivation. Great to be in a center for garlic!

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Bottom up ventilation of the garlic harvest

Lotte Ravn Lei gave a speech on their cultivation of garlic. There are some quite different considerations when growing garlic for so many people. For example they grow no hardneck garlic, as the high and rigid flower stalks make field operations more difficult. It is hard enough, because there are so many processes where each garlic must be handled by hand.
With regard to soil, they experience the clay soil to be ideal for garlic. They fertilize the soil with composted chicken manure in autumn, before they set the garlic. They tell that it is important to look after the soil, so that the earthworms thrive. They provide the best soil structure for the garlic.

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Which garlic is whitest?

Awards were amazing this year, as Ejner had donated his garlic drawings.

In the competition Kirsten had the largest garlic, an Estonian Red weighing 132 g.
Then came:
Inchelium Red 114 g (Kirsten)
Susan Delafield 111 g (Merete)
Transsylvanian 111 g (Merete)
Vigor 100 g (Kirsten)
Thermidrome 97 g (Lotte)
Bodil’s French Market 82 g (Søren) -Yes, I still haven’t grown the largest garlic :-)

The whitest garlic was cultivated by Lotte. The variety is unknown as it was an off-type, differing a lot from the other garlics from same batch of garlic sets. Several of the garlic was probably just as white, but Lottes garlic had the largest white surface.

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The reddest garlic

Merete won with the darkest red garlic. There was no doubt. The variety is Estonian Red.

Finest garlic garlic braid was made by Ejner, the huge braid with many varieties, each labeled with variety name (see top photo). The biggest garlic braid we’ve seen yet our competition.

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Garlic cookie

We also had coffee and cake. Lotte provide drinks, while Kirsten had baked two delicious cakes. I brought some garlic cookies. You probably should be very crazy about garlic, to eat cake with garlic in. There were some who ate more than a single cookie. Myself, I’m pleased with my garlic cookies.

Thanks all you happy people who participated!


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Time: Saturday 13 August pm. 14.00.
Location: Garlic & Wine Skuderupvej 9, 4640 Fakse
Registration before 6th August to Søren Holt tel +45 31 52 24 31 or email skrubtudsen(insert “at” here) gmail.com

Bring your finest homegrown garlic. We compete in the following categories:

Biggest garlic
Whitest garlic
Darkest red garlic
Most Beautiful Garlic braid

In competition we pretend to be serious ;-)

Lotte Ravn Lei tells briefly about professional cultivation of garlic in Denmark
We have varieties presented.
We must find the winners.
We will also try tasting garlic cultivars.
How does our local soil influence garlic flavor? Same clone grown in different gardens.
How can we compare taste of different clones? Which clone do you like best?
For tasting, we need that you take some garlic. It need not be the garlic with winning potential.
It is possible to buy coffee, tea and cake.

This year’s garlic competition is organized in cooperation between Frøsamlerne and Garlic & Wine.
One need not be a member of Frøsamlerne, but the garlic must be home grown.

Www.froesamlerne.dk www.hvidlog-vin.dk

Hvidløgskonkurrence 2009
Frøsamlerne (Danish Seed Savers) garlic competition (Coffebreak) (Copyright Lars Jacobsen 2009)

This year Frøsamlerne, The Danish Seed Savers had a garlic competition. It inspired the ecological website Havenyt to make a similar webbased contest. It’s in danish, but photos, and Estonian Red (Estisk rød) rules the show!
You could consider a google translation.

Frøsamlerne held our competiton in the allotments of Kirsten and Anne. They served coffee, teas and cake, had chairs for everyone to sit comfortably. We started with a presentation of our selves and our garlics. Many interesting point on soil and growing technique surfaced. One point that seems to persist is that garlic love a soil rich in organic matter, and seems to prefer sandy soils to heavy clay.

Several reported of leek moth in some of their garlics. I personally had to leave my biggest garlic, a ‘Gazebo Grande’ at home, as it had aquired a petty brownish color, looking weird. We had a laugh, as I was not the only one claiming to have lost the biggest garlic to a leek moth caterpillar!
As I opened my Gazebo Grande, I did indeed fint the caterpillar inside.

Appearently nobody had been really troubled by garlic rust this year, as it mostly came just few days ahead of harvest, thus had no influence on the garlic quality.

Four classes in the Garlic Competition

Biggest garlic won by an ‘Estonian Red’, grown by Lila Towle

Whitest garlic won by a “Grethes Supermarked” grown by Kirsten Hedegaard

Darkest purple garlic won by a ‘Chinese Purple’ grown by Kirsten Hedegaard

Most beautiful garlic braid won by an ‘Inchelium Red’ braid grown and braided by Søren Holt

Out of competition there was also a prize for the great eyecatching Allium ampeloprasums grown by Lars Jacobsen.

Biggest garlic was judged by weighing. The other classes was a bit more difficult.
The whitest garlic was clearly “Grethes Supermarked”, but there was two presenting this variety. Everybody agreed the had the same color. It was then decided, that the one with the largest area would be the whitest!
The darkest purple was difficult to judge, and we never agreed on it. It’s a class, where many clones have a chance to win, depending on a careful harvest and curing technique.
Most beautiful garlic braid, what is beautiful? There was a traditional braid, not very well braided, and an unusual bunch tied together in a creative and free spirited manner.

The Allium ampeloprasum Lars had brought was of three types. Babingtons leek many of us readily recognized, with its two cloves and large bulbils. He also brought Elephant Garlic, with more cloves and no bulbils. The last type he had from Nysted, having two huge cloves.

Thanks to Kirsten and Anne.

Merete from “Vild med have” also blogged about our garlic competition (In danish)

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